Most read posts of 2022

From possum nightclubs to garden transformations, these were the most popular stories published by Predator Free New Zealand Trust this year.

A collage of images representing our top stories of 2022
Our top stories of 2022. Image credit: Supplied

1. It’s business time: stoat mating mania and what you can do about it

“From the moment they open their eyes as babies, female stoats are almost certainly already pregnant.” That’s an opening line that disturbed many readers into reading more. This article was all about the stoat’s impressive breeding capabilities.

Understanding animal behaviour is a hallmark of effective trapping.

A stoat perched on a rock
Stoat, showing it’s distinctive black-tipped tail. Image credit: Soumyajit Nandy (via Wikimedia)

2. Garden of Holly: from weeds to wild wonderland

Our readers were hooked on discovering how a Kāpiti garden choked by agapanthus, tradescantia (spiderwort) and seedy grass has turned into a native plant paradise. Holly Neill went “full noise” on her backyard, clearing a ton of weeds and planting 400 natives to attract native birds and bugs to her backyard.

3. Zeroing in – toxic rodent lures last stoats

Stoats love to eat rats. So what if we planted toxin-laced dead rodents as an effective tool to target them? Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) is doing just that, and we caught up with their researchers using this technique in South Westland and heard about their results. 

4. Give your birdlife a boost and create a possum nightclub

A possum nightclub.
A possum nightclub. Image credit: Supplied.

No disco balls or DJs at this nightclub. Possums prowl for a mate during autumn, and it’s a perfect time to target them with traps. Wildlife biologist Cam Speedy is an expert possum party planner and gives step-by-step instructions for preventing possum numbers from booming during mating season.

5. When it comes to predator free, do mice matter?

Mice can sneak through most fences surrounding New Zealand’s wildlife sanctuaries – our readers were keen to know if these small predators were that big of an issue. Researchers spent five years looking into the mice mystery at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. 

6. Cat catastrophe: why are we behind Australia in managing cats?

You know the usual Aussie-NZ rivalries: origins of the pavlova, Russell Crowe, every sport… but could it be true Australia is better at protecting their native species? We looked into how our neighbours tackle their domestic and feral cat problems and what we could do differently here at home.

7. Love is in the air: bumper breeding season for kākāpō

At the Trust we don’t just look at the prolific breeding of introduced predators, but we also celebrate our natives when they have a good year.

This past Valentine’s Day we were impressed with kākāpō and their mammoth mating session – let’s hope the next breeding season is just as fruitful.

Kākāpō close up.
Kākāpō. Image credit: Kimberley Collins